Spitsbergen, Svalbard: Arctic Adventure Week

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Multi Activity Level 2 5 days 4-8 participants

Overview

Highlights

  • Explore the most remote areas on Svalbard
  • Kayak in glacial waters
  • View Arctic wildlife
  • Learn about Arctic nature

You can reach the Arctic outpost of Spitsbergen from both Oslo or Tromsø. Situated between the Norwegian mainland and the north pole, this Arctic archipelago is one of the most spectacular places in the world. Nature up here speaks for itself, unless you have been here before, you have not seen anything like it. Spitsbergen is the largest island in the archipelago of Svalbard. Rocky mountain peaks surround the entire coastline, and close to 70% of the landscape is covered by glaciers. It is home to nearly 3,000 polar bears, and here in the middle of the Arctic, you will find some of the most beautiful and spectacular accommodations you have ever visited or stayed in.

During the adventure week in Spitsbergen, you will stay in the worlds northernmost commercial cabin, the Nordenskiöld Mountain Lodge. This unique lodge is situated in one of the side fjords of Isfjorden, in Billefjorden. The lodge is next to the shoreline in Adolfbukta, one of the inner bays in Billefjorden, right next to the mighty glacier of Nordenskiöld. The Nordenskiöld glacier is part of the larger glacial system stretching all the way to the north coast of Spitsbergen, making the northern parts of the high Arctic Archipelago accessible from the Nordenskiöld Lodge. This is as far as you can go on motorized vehicles – from here on it’s either skis or dog sledge if you want to explore further.  With no running water or electricity, Nordenskiöld Mountain Lodge is a true expedition lodge in the middle of the Arctic. We use wood to heat the cabin, and get our drinking water from the melting glacier outside. There are 5 bedrooms with fantastic Arctic views, 10 comfortable beds, an indoor toilet, and a traditional wood sauna.

During the days on Nordenskiöld, you will hike some of the most spectacular glaciated landscape there is. With our kayaks, we will explore the land around us, safely guarded by our highly qualified guides. This is, after all, the land of the polar bear, maybe we will get to spot a glimpse of the Arctic king? 

You may join this trip between the 1st of July and 30th of September. Please let us know if you have any questions. You can contact us at [email protected] 

What's included

  • All accommodations
  • All meals
  • Professional nature guide
  • Transport within itinerary

See more of what's included and not here.

Contact

Questions about the trip? Don't hesitate to contact our project leader below, or contact our office here.

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Details

Difficulty

Level 3 out of 5. Please read more about our level of difficulty here. Days will be about 4-8 hours of activity. Good fitness and a positive attitude will prepare you well on this trip. 

What to bring?

Have a look at the full equipment list by clicking "Equipment list" in the menu above. You can leave your luggage in the car or at the accommodation each day, so when hiking, you only have to carry what you need for the day. 

How to get there?

Daily flights (3-4 hours) from Oslo to Longyear City. Please send us an email at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Wondering how to get from the airport to Oslo city? Read more here.

Accommodation

We stay at what we think are the most unique and welcoming accommodation in the whole of Arctic. Nordenskiöld lodge has 5 big bedrooms with a fantastic Arctic view. In these rooms, you will find 11 comfortable beds. Additional to this you will also find an indoor toilet. In a separate house, you will also find a traditional Finnish sauna heated every day for your comfort.

Accommodation in Longyearbyen is not included on day 1 and 6 in the program.

Baggage

We ask that you bring one piece of luggage (we recommend a duffel bag, which is easier than a rolling bag to transport on this tour) with your clothes, toiletries and items necessary for when we are not hiking. We require you bring a day pack (hip belt strongly recommended) to use when hiking for food, water, cameras and layers.

Insurance

You need a travel and health insurance, which also includes transportation back to your country. Remember to bring your insurance card/information. 

Languages

The guide will speak English.

Changes may occur

We reserve the right to make changes to the program, and the price. The day to day program is indicative, and changes may occur. Please have a look at our terms and conditions

Number of participants

Minimum: 4 people; Maximum: 8 people.

Not included in the price:

  • Transportation to the meeting point in Oslo. We are happy to assist you in booking a hotel in Oslo and give you advice on what to do when you stay in our capital.
  • Drinks and snacks.

Day by Day

day

1

To the Lodge of Nordenskiold

Accommodation Mountain Lodge
Meals B, L, D
Transportation 1-2hrs
Duration 2hrs
Climb 350m
Descent 350m
Distance 1-5km

The day starts early at 08 am when the guide picks you up at your hotel in the Arctic Outpost Longyearbyen in Svalbard. You will shortly go through the week’s plan and route, before heading to the harbor and the boat to take you to Billefjorden and Nordenskiold Lodge. There is plenty of wildlife around the fjords at this time of the year, so we have good chances to see Arctic birds, walruses, belugas or even the polar bear. Once at Nordenskiöld Lodge we will enjoy outdoor lunch and get familiar with the cabin and the surroundings. After lunch, it is time to head out to the arctic nature and explore the beauty around us. Before the evening we will return to the cabin, prepare a delicious dinner and warm up a sauna.

 

day

2

Kayaking among glaciers

Accommodation Mountain Lodge
Meals B, L, D
Duration 4-5hrs
Distance 15km

We start the day with a good breakfast, and if the weather is good, we can spend the morning to learn how to paddle a kayak. We have steady and reliable double kayaks at Basecamp Nordenskiöld so we all can paddle in pairs. Kayaking is a perfect way to get around in the Arctic and the very traditional way to explore the Arctic shorelines.  After the learning period, we will set out for a day trip to Brucebyen. We will paddle across the great glacier front with icebergs and Arctic wildlife. On the other side of the fjord lies Brucebyen. The small settlement consists of huts that were built 100 years ago by Scottish geologists. The guide will tell you fascinating stories from history. After a long day on the cold arctic sea, it is wonderful to relax in the sauna and afterward enjoy a delicious dinner. Maybe you have brought some ice from the glacier for tonight's drink?

day

3

Exploring the Arctic

Accommodation Mountain Lodge
Meals B, L, D
Duration 4-5hrs
Climb 400m
Descent 400m
Distance 10km

Today we will head out to the majestic Nordenskiöld Glacier. After breakfast, we go through the basic guidelines for glacier walking, climbing, and safety issues. Then we will explore the glacier crevasses just 300 meters away from the cabin. We will spend the day on the glacier walking up and down in the glacier cracks and enjoying the shining glacier around us. We will eat expedition lunch on the way. In the evening we make a bonfire and enjoy the view over the fjord.

day

4

Comfort for the soul

Accommodation Mountain Lodge
Meals B, L, D
Duration 4-5hrs
Climb 400m
Descent 400m
Distance 10km

If you look closely, it is things growing here in the Arctic! We will explore the beautiful Arctic land, glacier moraines and small flowers surviving in the harsh environment. We will reach close to one of the mountain peaks nearby, and enjoy expedition lunch on the way. The quietness, peace, magnificent landscape, and the beauty of it all will give you a feeling of peace you have never experienced before. When we get back to the lodge, we will have a nice dinner, and maybe we should try to jump into the water? Probably you will not have the chance to take a bath this close to the north pole ever again!

day

5

To civilization

Accommodation Mountain Lodge
Meals B, L
Transportation 15min
Duration 2-3hrs

After breakfast, we have a chance for our last hike. We can have one last photo walk to the glacier front or hike to the moraine to take the last pictures of the wildlife and the shiny glacier. We will enjoy lunch at the cabin before returning to civilization. We make a stop in Pyramiden on the way back to Longyearbyen and get to see the Russian settlement up close. The settlement was closed down in 1998, but have opened again for visitors. It is a fascinating place to visit. We return to Longyearbyen by boat and arrive during the afternoon or early evening.

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Equipment List

Take a good look at this list, and make sure you bring everything you need. We encourage you to use what you have for this trip, and purchase items if you're missing something important on the list below. We have divided the gear list into three categories:

  1. Required: If you do not own this gear, you must acquire it for your trip.
  2. Recommended: Gear we suggest to be comfortable, but it is not imperative.
  3. Optional: Fun, additional luxuries.  

Layering is extremely important in a variable climate like Norway. This list will guide you through the essentials. Remember the Norwegian saying "There is no bad weather, only bad gear", and prepare appropriately for any weather. You can read about the weather where you're traveling here.

The video below is for SUMMER gear, despite the snow in the background. Welcome to Norway!

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

We always recommend wool in the Norwegian Mountains, but if you already have synthetic layers and don't want to buy new ones, synthetic is okay. 

Required:

BASE LAYER

Wool long-sleeved top and bottom.

MID-LAYER A medium thickness wool or fleece top.

INSULATED JACKET

A warm jacket for breaks and before after hiking. We recommend a puffy jacket with down or synthetic. Something equivalant in warmth is also okay.

SHELL / RAIN JACKET

Gore-Tex or similar is mandatory. Extrememly important in Norwegian climate. The jacket must be waterproof, have a hood, and make sure you don’t get wet even if it rains all day. We recommend jackets with pit zips for ventilation. 

HIKING PANTS

Hiking pants comfortable for all day wear. Should fit your long underwear beneathe and fit under your rain shell pants if you choose to bring some. Zip off into shorts or an additional pair of shorts is option. 

HIKING SHIRT

Bring 1-2 shirts for daily hiking. 

GLOVES / MITTENS

1 thin pair of gloves to protect your hands. 1 pair of over mittens for additional warmth.

HATS

1 sun hat, 1 warm hat.

HIKING SOCKS

2-4 pairs, we recommend wool, above the ankle, in your preferred thickness. If your footwear is not waterproof consider a gortex sock option.

HIKING SHOES

Bring footwear you know fits you and is comfortable. Trails can be wet and rocky. We recommend waterproof hiking boots. 

BACKPACK

Daypack for warm layers, food, snacks, water and needed items. 20-40 liters.

SUNGLASSES

UV rated, we recommend a strap to keep them in place and so they don't get lost.

SUNSCREEN / CHAPSTICK

Make sure the Chapstick has UV rated sunscreen in it. 

WATER BOTTLE / CAMELBACK

2 liter capacity. 

TOILETRIES

Personal basics: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc...

PERSONAL MEDICATIONS

Make sure you bring any personal meds you need on your trip, and ensure the Hvitserk office is updated on your allergies or needs. 

Recommended:

WOOL UNDERWEAR

We highly recommend bringing wool underwear and bra for hiking. No cotton.

WATERPROOF SHELL PANTS

We recommend having a water proof layer for your legs in case the weather is cold and rainy. You will enjoy the hiking more when warm and comfortable.

SCARF OR BUFF

A layer to protect your neck or face. 

THERMOS

We recommend a thermos for hot drinks to have with you all day.

SWIMWEAR

A bathing suit and small towel if you would like to swim, hottub or sauna depending on your trip. 

TREKKING POLES

Most guests prefer hiking with poles. Helps with challenging terrain and to maintain energy over long days. 

HEADLAMP

Important item to always have in your pack. Emergency back up and useful for long days. 

FIRST AID KIT

If you have certain hiking aids specific to you: i.e. blister care or ibuprofen, etc...

CAMERA

Its important to be present while hiking, but also a great joy to bring some snapshots home with you for memory lane. 

CASUAL CLOTHES

A reminder to bring a set of clothes for transfers, relaxing in the evenings, and non-hiking time. An extra, dry pair of shoes is recommended for after and before hiking.

Optional:

ANTIBAC

If you need it for the bathroom or lunch. 

WET WIPE OR TOILET PAPER

If you have a bathroom emergency while hiking. We use "pack it in pack it out" ethics, so you will need to carry out your used items and throw them away later.

EAR PLUGS

If youre a light sleeper.

JOURNAL

In order to take notes and write about the trip.

SNACKS

Chocolate, nuts or energy bars if there is something particular you enjoy eating. You will have the opportunity to buy snacks on your trip.

SLEEPING MASK

To cover your eyes when sleeping in 24 hour light. You can aslo use your buff.

Bed linens and towels are included all nights. All the equipment you need for the glacier hike on day three is also included, also hiking boots that are compatible with crampons.

Dates & booking

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We have no planned departures at the moment, but we can tailor make it for you Send a request

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